Joe Bircher, David Bergin Lead Sioux Falls Canaries to 1-0 Win in Wiinipeg Goldeyes
WINNIPEG, MB - The Sioux Falls Canaries (36-58) continued their eight-game roadtrip with the opening game of a four-game series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes (43-51) at Shaw Park on Tuesday night. David Bergin hit his 14th home run of the season, and starting pitcher Joe Bircher tossed seven shutout innings in the Canaries 1-0 win.
Bircher (4-4, 3.16 ERA) allowed three hits over his first four innings, but found his groove in the fifth. The Southpaw recorded five straight strikeouts in the fifth and sixth innings before forcing Casey Haerther to ground out to end the inning. Bircher ran into trouble again in the seventh, walking back-to-back batters, but worked his way out of the jam, striking out Casio Grider for the final out of the inning.
The left-hander came back out to start the eighth inning, but left after giving up back-to-back infield singles to Adam Heisler and James Boddicker. Relief pitcher Garrit Granitz entered the game and retired the next three batters to keep the game 1-0. Closer Chase Johnson picked up his 14th save of the season after allowing one hit in a scoreless inning of work.
Bergin gave the Canaries their only run of the night in the top of the second inning, blasting a first pitch changeup over the left field wall. Brett Balkan had the only multi-hit night for the Birds, going 2-for-4 at the plate with a pair of singles.
Goldeyes starting pitcher Anthony Smith (3-4, 4.72 ERA) pitched well in the loss, allowing one run on five hits, and recorded three strikeouts over eight innings.
The series continues on Wednesday night at 7:05 PM with RHP Shawn Blackwell (3-9, 3,98 ERA) making his 19th start of the season. The Goldeyes will send out the 2014 American Association Pitcher of the Year Nick Hernandez (8-7, 2.88 ERA) to make his 20th start of the season.
The Canaries have a scheduled off day on Monday, but return to action on Tuesday night in the opening game of a four-game road series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. First pitch at Shaw Park is scheduled for 7:05 PM, with LHP Joe Bircher (3-4, 3.46 ERA) making his 14th start of the season.
Fans can catch all the action home and away on AM-1230, FM-98.1, Sioux Falls Sports Radio KWSN. Pre-game coverage will begin at 6:20 PM as the “Voice of the Canaries” JJ Hartigan will bring all the latest news related to Canaries.